"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
About Bayou Bill
Recent Rambles
DNR Doings
Wild Recipes



Division of Forestry Needs Acorns
Copyright © 2007 by Bill Scifres

How would you like to make some coffee money?  Well, you probably won’t get rich selling acorns to the Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry (DOF), but you may like to have some fun helping a cause (especially oak trees) and you will be paid.

The DOF’s nursery at Vallonia, good ol’ Jackson County, at the moment is much in need of acorns from several species of oak trees. They don’t pay a lot--a few cents each--but they, as always, buy good acorns as seed for the various species.

White Oak acorns are the most common species--the nursery still needs about 300,000 of them to meet the orders for seedlings that come in. But they need about 5,000 pounds of good oak acorns, including overcup oak and chestnut oak, found mostly in the northern counties.

That 5,000-pound figure translates into roughly 125,000 good seeds (acorns), says Rob Winks, assistant manager of the facility. Rob and the others at Vallonia Nursery were busy yesterday planting white oak seeds. They germinate in the fall, as my recent photograph of the same, noted.

Prices the agency will pay for the various oak seeds are: chinkapin, about 2.5 cents for each good seed; burr oak, about 3 cents each; white oak, about 2 cents each; swamp chestnut, about 2.5 cents each; swamp white oak, about 2.5 cents each; overcup oak, about 2.5 cents each, and chestnut oak, about 2 cents each.

Information on the purchase of other seeds is available by calling the nursery, 812-358-3621.

COYOTE TRAPPING--Some who were critical, recently and publicly, of the Department of Natural Resources’ efforts to ban the sale of live, trapped animals for big bucks seemed to give the activity of trapping dirty, odorous pants at a time when trapping appeared to have gained some acceptance among the rank-and-file of Hoosierdom.

What it is all about--in its entirety--is the dirty greenback.

Unscrupulous people who also trap are pledging their troth on the almighty buck. There are businesses (nobody seems to know how many) that will pay a big buck for a live animal (coyote, to be exact).

The DNR is charged to protect animals. Although the DNR Council recently approved a rule that provides a coyote trapped out of season be properly disposed of within 24 hours, those opposed to the DNR rule say the legislative law that gives them the right to trap coyotes out of season, also gives them the right to sell them alive.

Coyotes trapped in season may still be disposed of at the trappers’ whim.

Live coyotes, used to train dogs in an enclosure, bring much higher prices than pelts. It is believed that coyotes used in the training scenario are occasionally caught by the dogs (a most inhumane contest).

Move my tent from the campground of trappers to that occupied by the DNR. This is not a disagreement, as both sides try to minimize it; this is full-scale war. It is the next door neighbor to fighting dogs and chickens--the dollar be damned. 

Selling live wild animals--everything from a field mouse to an elephant--should be stopped in all seasons, and if necessary, those that buy should be ridden back to where they came from on a jolty, three-cornered rail (tar and coyote hair being optional). And that goes for the horses they rode in on, too. 

Incidentally, I hear the DNR probably will go both the DNR Commission and the legislative route in this matter. Some legislators seem to be leaning in the direction of the trappers. 

A meeting of the DNR Legislative Council (legislators) is scheduled for today (Oct. 30, 2007.) This matter has already been decided by that panel. It is not on today’s agenda. Mortgage the farm and bet it will be aired out again. 

All columns, essays, and photos are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

 Return to beginning of document
Return to Bayou Bill's Home Page